The Namib Desert in Southwest Africa is by far one of the most beautiful, but ecologically-sensitive regions on earth. So when &BEYOND built their Sossusvlei Lodge just outside the majestic Namibrand Nature Reserve, they did everything they could to ensure the most negligible environmental impact possible. &BEYOND's Tarryn Gibson told us that "preventive initiatives are a priority" at Sossusvlei, and the building was tucked into the base of the mountain to protect against strong seasonal winds. Sourcing building materials locally were also a primary focus, in turn eliminating the project's resulting carbon footprint while offering employment opportunities for local communities. Keep reading to find out how one of the top stargazing destinations in the world protects the land, the people, and the wildlife.
Sossusvlei’s circular rooms were modeled after naturally-occuring “fairy circles” – patches of land devoid of vegetation up to 5 meters in diameter that occur throughout the plains. River sand was sourced from less ecologically sensitive areas 5km from the lodge to make cement bricks, which not only made it unnecessary to ship in materials from afar, but also gave the locals opportunity a chance to show off their skills and earn money. The rock used on the facades and walkways was also sourced nearby.
According to Tarryn, “the thickness and mass of the battered stone walls provide insulation throughout the heat of the day whilst radiation off the day’s heat supplies stored warmth during cool nights,” and rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, and a strategically-placed well in the north prevent any excess impact on the water table. There are no fences, no plunge pools, and the land has been spoiled with unnatural landscaping. This small, elevated lodge has energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and skylights have been incorporated into each room for spectacular stargazing. If you love nature and comfort too, this place will rock your green-loving world.